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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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they are theses concerning the world of observable
events, and they might be accepted as part of the truth
about human life and yet not the whole truth. T\t
idea that we should be able to explain a thing if we could
tell its history, the denial of God, and the adoption of a
materialist interpretation of the whole universe, are not
peculiar to Marxism; they would seem to have been
taken by it from modern secular liberalism; and modern
Communism clings to some of the features of the age in
which the movement was born. To the Marxist it
would be important that we should share the philo-
sophical outlook of materialism, and not merely accept
the economic diagnoses, for example—not merely
accept the historical theses and methods. Perhaps
the Marxists have never sufficiently appropriated the
first fundamental principle of Marx and of all true
historiography—namely, that it is men who in reality
make history. In any case, those who concede that
material circumstances have a great part in conditioning •
the men in question, need not believe that the whole
nature of man is defined by that fact. The Marxist
may be consistent in his philosophy, but he is going
beyond the historical evidence when he turns the
conditioning factors into independent causes and makes
them a self-sufficient explanation of history and the

The Marxist historical method—even its handling
of the concrete and tangible things in history—becomes
a danger, however, precisely to the person who already
holds such an initial bias in favour of the materialistic
outlook in general. Whatever validity there might